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11/14/2013 10:34:00 AM
Use mobile phones for the good, but don't miss life
Catholic News Service
Franciscan Brothers Richard Mcfeely and Robert Frazzetta read prayer requests on their mobile phones at St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J.
Catholic News Service
Franciscan Brothers Richard Mcfeely and Robert Frazzetta read prayer requests on their mobile phones at St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J.

One of our colleagues boarded an inbound MAX train the other day and was dismayed by what he found. Every passenger in the rush-hour, crowded car was staring at a smart phone or similar electronic gadget. Everyone!

The world could have ended along the way to downtown and no one would have looked up. God help us. The folks who provide these devices  are turning us all into zombies.

The hand-held electronic device obsession is happening everywhere. We have even encountered people juggling two mobile phones simultaneously.

Paul Tighe, the monsignor-secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, told a Catholic New Media conference outside Boston that the Internet will host the parish community of the future. The digital parish will be where people cluster around shared interests and ideas.

Research shows American adults  spend five hours online every day.  People go online to connect with others.

He argues that the Church has a duty to evangelize people through social media, just as the organization still supports missionaries.

A senior priest we know long resisted the move to the Internet, saying he had the entire set of the Encyclopedia Brittanica. “Why would I need anything else?” he asked. That man is now inseparable from his monitor. He is not alone. Japan offers 12-step programs for Internet addicts.

At times like these, we look to Pope Francis for guidance. He used social media to invite people everywhere to pray for peace in Syria. It worked for him. It will work for us, but we must moderate, lest we miss out on life.

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